New Abbotsford First Electoral Society Announces 4 Candidates, Calls For Sweeping Change

Release. Mr. Fred Thiessen, President of the AbbotsfordFirst Electoral Society today introduced four AbbotsfordFIRST council candidates for the November 15, 2014 municipal election. “The AbbotsfordFirst Electoral Society is pleased to introduce Ross Siemens, Kelly Chahal, Vince Dimanno and Brenda Falk. Each of them is passionate about our City and committed to working together to create a vibrant future for Abbotsford.”

“In 2006 our City was debt free and had a projected $4 million surplus. Today our debt is more than $100 million dollars, the financial outlook isn’t favourable and there are no plans in place to get us back on track. In recent years negative press has become commonplace in Abbotsford; and the City we were once proud to call home now has some of the highest property taxes and water rates in BC, citizens are moving to other communities, and businesses are closing. AbbotsfordFIRST believes that the citizens of Abbotsford deserve better,”said Thiessen.

He added, ” The City of abbotsford is a large organization with a $250 million annual budget. Councillors need skills and competencies to successfully govern the City. Criticizing from the sidelines won’t bring about the sweeping change our City deserves. Last fall a group of residents got together and decided to mobilize for change. Yoday I’m pleased to announce that we have formed an organization known as the AbbotsfordFIRST Electoral Society whose primary purpose is to have four to six councillors elected in the November 15, 2014 municipal election. We’re introducing four candidates today, and we’re also inviting other to join us.”

AbbotsfordFIRST is a team of leaders working together to create positive change in Abbotsford. Passionate about Abbotsford, we are committed to doing what it takes to bring about a transformation in our City. We believe that the citizens of Abbotsford are ready for change, and, with our platform of leadership, accountability and respect our team will deliver results. With your help we can change the future of Abbotsford! Those interested in joining the team are encouraged to visit our website and to contact us for information.”

The AbbotsfordFIRST Society board includes Fred Thiessen (President), Jack Robertson (Vice-President), June Ross (Secretary), Eric Nyvall (Financial Agent) and Marty Snider (Membership Chair)

According to their website, “The AbbotsfordFIRST team is committed to transforming Abbotsford to a city that is a desired location for business and families alike; that is looked to as a model of good government; where an innovative, collaborative approach sets the stage for a vibrant economy; and where respect for our citizens and the environment is considered in all we do.”

Contact: Fred Thiessen, President – AbbotsfordFIRST Electoral Society


Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Gerda Peachey says:

    Hey Fred: Were it not for you and Henry Braun and a handful of awake citizens, we would by now have watched Bruce Banman and the current rubber-stamp council, give the YMCA a cool $17.5 million of our cash.
    The YMCA would have gained free land, tax-free status for 40 years or more, and grossly unfair competitive advantage over private businesses offering the same services.
    The YMCA proposal was a classic example of what is wrong with government subsidies for business ventures. This current mayor and most of the council were determined to give away the farm, a farm they have already mortgaged to the hilt with previous forays into big glamour projects.

    You will certainly have my vote.

  • GeorgeFEvens says:

    Good luck to a much needed political change at Abbotsford. Reflecting back, at Mission the CRMG (slate) changed all but one incumbent, who joined CRMG. The (secret) is to get a strong Mayor candidate. Have you met Henry Braun? Then, make sure you have a candidate for each position, maybe even the (unwinable) like maybe Patricia Ross (Abbotsford) that like at Mission the same scenario existed. The secret is to get voters out and secondly, to think “SLATE NAME FIRST”, that even the lesser known will ride in on coattails.

  • The Editor says:

    Shaheen Shivji Says:
    Much needed. For far too long the decades-long serving Abbotsford councillors including Patricia Ross, Dave Lowen etc have done an enormous injustice to this city that has become an international embarrassment. It is high time a path is created for newer, effective and intelligent political leadership. The long serving political leadership in this city are not a reflection of the populous who want a better Abbotsford.

    From Facebook:

  • The Editor says:

    Lynne Bard Says: Now this is scary! A bunch of people who want to “fix” our City by forcing their agenda onto us. At least now, even though I agree some councillors need to go, we have a democratic situation that has various opinions and personalities. this is a nightmare about to happen if these people all get in. What is this, the Stepford Wives or Abbotsford. Are these people incapable of running their own campaign? Do they not have personalities or brains of their own? wrong, just wrong.

    From Facebook:

    • Deceit in Drugs says:

      no”forcing any agenda on vote for who you think will show
      leadership and help make changes to fix Abbotsford’s financial situation
      and address what you see as priority issues.

      AbbotsfordFirst specifically lays out issues facing this city.

      It is a good website to get information about the issues and candidates
      at the same time.

      The voter, however, makes the ultimate decision.

      I urge all voters to get out and vote in some new incumbents this
      November 2014 election.

      The status quo has mired us in debt….increase in User fees, Internal borrowing, $15.4 mil in subsides for hockey, $5.5 mil hockey team buyout and $30 mil cost overrun for arena in four years.

      This is a blatant disregard for taxpayers money used by a select
      self interest group in this city to push their agendas and have been supported by various councillors for many years voted in by them year after year.

      It is not about an inclusive city, citizen engagement or all citizen voices
      and it needs to change.

      We need incumbents, who treat the city as a whole and work to
      do what is best for the city as a whole!

  • HH376 says:

    Delighted to read this news. The time for change on council is well past. I’m excited that my first opportunity to vote will be at the municipal level and I can’t wait to, hopefully, see our council transformed.

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